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Bob Brown has called today’s decision by the Federal Court to validate the extermination of the Gelorup woodlands by Western Australia’s department of Main Roads “a travesty of natural justice by an anti-environmental judicial mindset.”

The federal Environment Protection (sic) and Biodiversity Conservation (sic) Act could have been read by this court to protect the environment but it has thrown environmental protection to the bulldozers. The court simply endorsed the Minister for the Environment Tanya Plibersek’s failure to protect the environment. Full stop.

For anyone fair-minded person thinking that Commonwealth law should urgently protect matters of national environmental importance, not least critically-endangered Australian animals, this is a stinker of a judgement. It will crush the spirit of the wonderful Friends of the Gelorup Corridor who have spent 25 years campaigning for the endangered creatures in their neighbourhood woodland. The judgement unarguably shoves the critically-endangered Western Ring-tailed Possum closer to extinction: six were killed when the WA Main Roads bulldozers moved in and none of the 70+ possums displaced were safely rehoused in the farcically-delayed ‘offset area’.

Nor has any replacement forest been established for the three species of Black Cockatoos which found habitat in the now blitzed Gelorup Corridor woodland.

Two of the world’s largest mistletoe trees, alive and flourishing last year, are now somewhere in WA Main Roads mulch heaps. They didn’t even rate a mention in the political or judicial proceedings that have led to this horror outcome for the Australian environment.

The same farcical ‘offset’ mentality is to be the core of the new federal environment laws about to be foisted on Australian nature-lovers by the Albanese government, backed by the Dutton opposition.

Photo by The Friends Of Gelorup

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